September 2015



Things a Superstitious Woman Keeps

Tricia Knoll

First, my mother’s palm-sized red leather box, faded to a dull rose from the sun that streamed onto her dresser. The box with her initials embossed in gold. She kept pearls inside. I gave the pearls away.

Then, there’s the box of French and German bone china teacups and saucers my mother wrapped in newspapers headlining Saigon surrenders and Watergate. I imagine church ladies removing white gloves for cucumber and mint sandwiches, pouring English breakfast tea and picking up silver tongs to plop in sugar cubes. My crowd leans toward ergonomic shoes, organic cotton, and Zen sayings on rice paper tucked in deep pocket. I’ve moved those cups four times.

My daughter insists I keep her size zero white Nike baby shoes, the ones she outgrew before she started walking. I hold on to her Mien baby hat with the red pompons. The Lao woman who embroidered it said red yarn distracts evil spirits.

How about the Eisenhower silver dollar that circulated in western casinos? My father gave this memento for my first marriage in 1971. Heads up I win: the marriage ended twenty years ago, and we’re still friends. I hope when I die my daughter takes my mother’s moonstone ring off my right hand and my grandmother’s wedding ring off my left.

the ant
bearing one white egg
a line of days